A New York judge Wednesday handed former Bridges Television Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan the maximum sentence for second-degree murder - 25 years to life in prison - for stabbing his wife to death and beheading her in February 2009.
Hassan has written letters from jail insisting that he suffered from battered spouse syndrome and that he "broke down under years of abuse" in killing his wife. But Erie County Court Circuit Judge Thomas Franczyk told Hassan he had no doubt the killing was a "premeditated act of violence."
"Justice demands that you receive nothing less than the maximum possible sentence," Franczyk told Hassan, convicted by a jury last month.
Evidence presented during the trial showed that on Feb. 12, 2009, Hassan lured his wife Aasiya to the couple's Bridges TV studio in Orchard Park, stabbed her more than 40 times with a pair of hunting knives, and beheaded her. A forensic pathologist testified that Aasiya Hassan may have been conscious when the beheading started.
That evening, she had promised her children she would take them to a restaurant for dinner, but would first have to drop off clean clothing for their father at the studio. Mo Hassan was barred by an order of protection from coming to the family home, and he had told his wife he would not be at the studio.
She didn't know that he went to a local store to purchase hunting knives. Video showed him lying in wait in the darkened studio attacking his wife when she arrived. He was angry over her refusal to withdraw divorce papers she had just filed after years of abuse.
Ironically, the couple had created Bridges TV in an effort to debunk negative stereotypes of Muslims.
Under New York law, Hassan cannot receive a parole hearing until 2034.